This is it. Across Wisconsin, working people are working overtime to make sure that their fellow union members cast their ballots.
Have you voted yet? If not, please head to the polls NOW. There are precious few hours left to make your voice heard.
Today, Wisconsin voters have a clear choice between candidates who will build a better future for working families and those who would tear down the middle-class. Senator Russ Feingold and gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett have been hard at work on behalf of Wisconsin workers, while their opponents threaten to undermine jobs, pensions and public services that will pull Wisconsin out the economic crisis.
Below is a quick reminder of exactly what is at stake.
Creating and Keeping Wisconsin Jobs
Russ Feingold is fighting to fix flawed trade agreements that send Wisconsin manufacturing jobs to other countries. Feingold voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, Fast Track, and Most Favored Nation status for China and he is an original cosponsor of the TRADE Act, which would allow the United States to renegotiate these failed trade policies.
Ron Johnson says that he supports the “creative destruction” of trade policies that send Wisconsin Jobs overseas.
Tom Barrett’s plan to jumpstart job creation will create 180,000 jobs in his first term, cut taxes for businesses that create jobs in Wisconsin, invest in job training and green technologies that put people back to work, and cut through the red tape on new construction to revitalize the economy and get people working again.
Scott Walker does not have a specific job creation plan for Wisconsin, but if his track record in Milwaukee County Supervisor is any indication, Wisconsin workers would be in for a hard road of layoffs, furloughs and job privatization.
Strengthening Pensions and Social Security
Russ Feingold has opposed efforts to privatize Social Security. Thanks to his efforts, the benefits that so many seniors rely on were not tied to the recent stock market collapse. Feingold will continue to fight any effort that puts Social Security at risk – and that also means opposing any efforts that use Social Security Trust Fund money to pay for new spending programs or tax cuts.
Ron Johnson wants to gut pension benefits. He’ll make sure that we pay the price if Wisconsin’s pension funds are underfunded. He says that if pensions are underfunded, “benefits will have to be adjusted.” Haven’t Wisconsin’s workers given up enough already?
It is bad enough that most private sector workers can no longer count on a secure pension from their employer. Now Scott Walker has stated intension to go after the pensions of state workers. Tom Barrett understands that public servants often negotiate lower wages in exchange for retire security, and he won’t play politics with state employee pensions.
Maintaining Public Services and Safety Nets
Senator Russ Feingold voted in support of continuing unemployment benefits for Wisconsinites who are still out of work as a result of the deep economic collapse and recession caused by Wall Street's recklessness and the Bush Administration's failed economic policies.
Ron Johnson wants to cut unemployment benefits. He thinks unemployment benefits shouldn’t be extended to jobless Wisconsinites because it’s just too expensive. Yet he has no problem keeping tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%.
Tom Barrett supports common sense public projects, such as the effort to connect our state with a high speed rail line, which will create good jobs now and strengthen our infrastructure to support the jobs of the future.
Scott Walker has said that he would refuse federal funding for high speed rail construction. Under Scott Walker, Milwaukee County government has been slashed and mismanaged to the point where crumbling buildings have resulted injury and death. Negligence at the county Mental Health Complex has led to deaths by starvation and patients becoming victims of sexual assault. Working people can’t afford to have that kind of leadership in the governor’s office.
With so much riding on today’s vote, we will continue to phone bank until the polls close at 8 P.M. After you’ve cast your vote please join us at one of the staging locations in your area. Click here for GOTV location information.
Act now, and together we can elect candidates who will build a solid foundation for Wisconsin's future.
(For the latest Labor 2010 GOTV photos, visit: http://flickr.com/wisaflcio. Top Photo: Connie Jackson of UAW Local 9 and UAW Local 9 President Patrick Weyer leaflet outside of Miller Brewing company in Milwaukee yesterday. Photo Credit: Karen Hickey. Top Right Photo: USW Local 2-224 President Steve Meyer with gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett in Wausau this morning. Photo Credit: Scott Wright. Top Left Photo: Scott Clausen of USW Local 2-469 participated in his first Labor Walk yesterday in Kaukauna. Photo Credit: Norb Gossens. Second Right Photo: Bob Jaskie of USW Local 1343 and Raymond Levy of UAW Local 9 call union households in Milwaukee. Photo Credit: Karen Hickey. Second Left Photo: Donna Harrer and Debbie Acuff of AFT-WFNHP Local 5001 participating in an early morning GOTV leaflet at St. Francis Hospital on Election Day. Photo Credit: Karen Hickey. Third Left Photo: Trenna Grose of UFCW Local 1473 and Christopher Adell of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin GOTV in Milwaukee. Photo Credit: Karen Hickey. Third Right Photo: Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale reminds Miller Brewery workers to vote. Photo Credit: Karen Hickey. Bottom Left Photo: AFT-WFNHP Local 5001 members Martha Williams and Debbie Acuff call union members to get out the vote. Photo Credit: Karen Hickey.)